This cold late Fall weather is the perfect time to cozy up and make some tea. Why not share the tea-making love with your kids in the garden? And while you’re at it, share the amazing benefits and stories herbs and spices have given us throughout the years…
Before getting into the tea making activity, share a story with the students about an herb or spice in history. The one that I like to share is the story of Prometheus and how he stole fire from the gods with a sprig of fennel. Many kids are really into both fennel and Greek Mythology, so this goes over pretty well. However, you can make this experience your own by sharing a different story about another herb that your kids enjoy! Here are some each-one-teach one cards that I have created to help the kids understand both the historical significance of herbs and how they have been used both for medicinal and culinary purposes in the past.
With that knowledge in mind, it is time for the kids to put their learning to practice by harvesting and serving up some fresh garden tea themselves! There are a few different ways to create a lovely tea-party experience in your learning garden.
One way to celebrate our “herban legends” is by making a community tea pot together with your students. Show them the different varieties of herbs you have in your garden space and how to harvest and cut the plants into small pieces in order to make fresh mint, lemon balm, rosemary, etc. tea! Let them mix and match and make fun combinations. A boy in one of my after-school programs even decided to make chive tea, which the other students really loved! Once all the herbs have been harvested, rinsed, and chopped, they can either be put in a french press or a tea pot and then strained to serve! I usually add a little bit of sugar.
Another method to allow students to take home their tea treasures is to teach them how to make homemade tea bags. This can be done with store-bought disposable tea bags, or for a more rustic look, cheese cloth and string! Simply cut the cheese cloth into about 5×5” squares for the students to fill with various herb clippings and cut out lengths of string for them to tie them closed with as well as to use as the “dipper”.
Finally, sip your tea and enjoy! Cheers!